These definitions are based on personal experience and are not text book definitions.  Also, the definitions page is continuously added to.

Earnest Money – earnest money is a good faith to a seller during the negotiation of a purchase agreement.  Earnest money is often a check, but can be any tangible form of value.  For example; a buyer could offer their car as earnest money during the purchase of a home.  Furthermore, earnest money is typically refundable to the buyer in the form of a down payment at closing.  So, earnest money too can be offered to the seller as a form of down payment.  Most importantly, earnest money solidifies the purchase agreement as a contract and holds ALL parties responsible for meeting their promises.